On the Mountain

The Greater Montana Foundation is proud to have been a part of the Emmy-winning production of the story of the Lady of the Rockies with the amazing team at the MTN Studios. In the winter of 1979, Joyce O’Bill would undergo emergency surgery. Her husband, Bob, would make a promise. If Joyce recovered, he would build a statue. Six years later that promise became a ninety foot tall statue on top of the Continental Divide. This is the story of that promise made reality. A story of a statue, built with donated equipment, volunteer labor and enduring commitment from the people and the community of Butte. The people, that turned a husband’s promise into an enduring tribute, tell their story, decades later, of how the Lady of the Rockies came to stand…On The...

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2016 Awards Announcement

At the annual summer board meeting, the Greater Montana Foundation awarded over $300,000 in 2016 grants, elected two new trustees and launched two education initiatives designed to encourage Montana news reporters to address the top issue identified by Montanans in a 2015 survey: jobs and the economy. The Foundation is also funding a follow-up survey to better understand how Montanans use the Internet to access news.

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From the Chairman, Dr. Bill Whitsitt

Thanks for your interest in the Greater Montana Foundation. I hope you’ll explore our website, and that you’ll find it to be interesting and useful as you think about our vision and mission – and how we go about our work. Most important, I hope you’ll contact us if you have questions, comments or suggestions. Founded in 1958 by pioneer Montana broadcaster, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ed Craney, we believe the GMF’s vision/mission statement reflects what Ed would want us to be about, even as communications technology continues to change dramatically and the important interests and concerns of Montanans evolve. That statement is: The Greater Montana Foundation benefits the people of Montana by encouraging communication, with an emphasis on electronic media, on issues, trends and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans. In fulfilling our vision and mission, the Foundation makes numerous program, scholarship and other grants to a wide range of applicants, from commercial broadcasters that are our heritage and foundational interest, to public broadcasters, nonprofit groups, and institutions such as the Montana Historical Society. Because of our commitment to helping educate future broadcasters and electronic media-focused journalists, we make annual grants to the University of Montana School of Journalism for a variety of programs, including student internships and documentaries. And we also fund the annual E.B. Craney Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting in cooperation with the Montana Broadcasters Association. We are particularly proud of such television and radio programs as statewide candidate debates, news programs and important documentaries and discussions that address key issues. Many achieve wide state and national viewership. The commercial and non-commercial radio and TV programs we fund are available to any broadcast outlet wishing to air them, as well as to schools and to libraries for public use. Lists of these programs are available elsewhere on this site. In the Spring of 2015 the GMF Board launched an important statewide Issues and Media Preferences communications research project with two purposes. The first was to gain insights into what Montanans believe to be the most important issues facing our state. The second was to learn more about how Montanans receive information on those issues. The results are important to not only the GMF, but to organizations of all kinds interested in communicating with Montanans. They are important to our citizens as well. And they are also available elsewhere on our website. I encourage you take a look, and perhaps dive deeply into the data provided in our summary slide set. Principal among our findings were that Montanans are firmly in the Internet communications age, but that traditional sources of information – led by television, but also with strong contributions by radio and...

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